[8/11/05]: Ranchers Convicted of Murder Escaped Before Arrest
URGENT ACTION NEEDED: SAMPLE LETTER BELOW
from Rio Maria Bulletin
THE RANCHERS CONVICTED OF ORDERING THE ASSASSINATION OF JOÃO CANUTO ESCAPED BEFORE THEY COULD BE ARRESTED
Pressure by regional, national, and international organizations in response to our June action alert, demanding that the Court of Justice of Pará decree an arrest order for Vantuir Gonçalves de Paula, was very effective. On July 12 the order was given for the arrest not only of this man, but also of Adilson Laranjeira Carvalho, the second man convicted of ordering the death of João Canuto, President of the Union of Rural Workers of Rio Maria. However, the accused fled just hours before the police arrived at their homes and ranches to make the arrests, and up to this time they have not been found.
It is likely that, without a special team of police to capture these fugitives, they will never be arrested. We may recall the similar case of Jerônimo Alves de Amorim, whose arrest for ordering the murder of Expedito Ribeiro de Souza did not happen until four years after his conviction, and only with the intervention of the Federal Police. So it is absolutely essential that the Governor of Pará immediately designate special state police and that the Minister of Justice order the Federal Police to work together for the capture of these men. This type of collaboration brought results in the case of the assassination of Sister Dorothy Stang, whose murderers were captured within a few weeks. Why has this not happened in the case of João Canuto, who was killed twenty years ago? All that is needed is the political will.
So, once again, we are asking you for letters to the Governor of Pará and to the Minister of Justice. And, once again, we would like to express gratitude for your solidarity.
A sample letter follows.
Dr. Márcio Tomaz Bastos
Ministro da Justiça
Esplanada dos Ministérios
Bloco T – Ed. Sede – 4o Andar
70064-900 Brasília, DF, Brasil
Fax: (55) 61-3322-6817
Dr. Simão Jatene
Governador do Pará
Palácio dos Despachos
Rodovia Augusto Montenegro, Km 09
66823-010 Belém, PA, Brasil
Fax: (55) 91-3278-3358
I am writing to express my great concern with regard to the flight of the two ranchers convicted of having ordered the assassination of the president of the Union of Rural Workers of Rio Maria, João Canuto de Oliveira. These two ranchers, Adilson Laranjeira Carvalho and Vantuir Gonçalves de Paula, fled on July 12, just a few hours before the police arrived at their residences and ranches in Rio Maria with orders for their arrest. They have not yet been found.
You may recall the similar case of Jerônimo Alves de Amorim, convicted of having ordered the assassination of Expedito Ribeiro de Souza. It was four years after the conviction that this rancher was finally arrested in Mexico, where he was living under a false identity. On the other hand, the assassins of the North American missionary, Sister Dorothy Stang, were arrested within a few weeks by the police of the State of Pará in collaboration with the Federal Police.
I am asking you to exercise the same diligence in the capture of Adilson Laranjeira Carvalho and Vantuir Gonçalves de Paula, who ordered the assassination of João Canuto twenty years ago.
The Rio Maria Bulletin distributes information received directly from the Rio Maria Committee in the southeast Amazon region of Brazil and other human rights organizations. Comments and inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.